Monday, August 25, 2014

Rock your face off with Anti-Mortem's New Southern

Regular readers know I'm a country-loving metalhead. The country is an old flame, the rock/metal is a new passion I can thank my husband for...and every day, I move closer to the dark side.

Anti-Mortem's New Southern has probably sealed the deal. I can feel the METAL coursing through my veins when I hear it. It's freeing. I love it.


I got to see Anti-Mortem when they opened for Machine Head in July at Springfield's Outland Ballroom. They kicked more ass than the stifling heat in the completely packed upstairs space. And that's saying something. You can read about the Oklahoma boys here.

The bio I linked above says not one of these guys is older than 22.
So...I'm old enough to be Cool Aunt Carrie who buys them beer. Fantastic.
New Southern will probably (by "probably," I mean "definitely") bring to mind a legendary metal band from a bit further south, the one and only Pantera. Like Pantera, Anti-Mortem's riffs are front and center, and the grooves are pretty much unrelenting. 

"Words of Wisdom" kicks off New Southern with those brutal guitars, and singer Larado Romo growling, "I was told my whole life 'don't do this, don't do that'/Force your opinion on me like it was fact." Perfect start to a rebellious metal record. I love the lyrics:



The title track follows. It starts with a softer intro, then brings a really strong PUNCH as it gets going. The chorus is downright bluesy. "New Southern" includes a nice little lyrical gem in the second verse that I really dig: "Lost my head on the way to get help/With the hand that I dealt myself."

"100% Pure American Rage" follows. The video for this anthem is really cool. There's a bit of a "Jeremy" feel, but it ends very differently. It would also be terrible of me to not point out the awesome solos:



In the middle you'll find the relentless jack-hammer of a song "Hate Automatic," The very fun, defiant "I Get Along With the Devil," and another unstoppable, fist-in-the-air tune "Ride of your life." I rock the eff out to these songs in the car like there's no tomorrow. If you have seen me around Springfield in the past week, you've probably had a laugh.

As intense as the album is, there are a couple songs on New Southern that I think could be rock radio hits. "Black Heartbeat" would fit right in with its slower pace and jilted lover theme. "Path to Pain" has a calmer vibe as well, and a cool lyric hook in "kicking rocks on the path to pain." "Wake Up" is a good anti-authority, anti-power tune that I think would really resonate with people, considering some things happening in the world right now.

"Stagnant Water" is such a killer song. It might be my favorite on New Southern. It's an epic, stomp-y, creepy, chugging track. That guitar after the line "at the right hand of God...is a gun" hits you right in the gut. "Stagnant Water" also features a delightfully southern rock-tinged solo. Behold:



"Truck Stop Special" brings a well-told story of desperation and a rolling guitar riff. This one is just good rock and roll:



Another badass tale follows with "Jonesboro." And the bonus track "A Little Too Loose" makes buying this album worth it. It is a blues song in every way--except the distorted guitars...and that combo totally works. News flash: I just discovered this is a cover of a Mr. Big song. Never stop learning, kids. Especially about rock 'n roll.

I am completely addicted to New Southern, and I'm not looking to go to rock rehab for my problem anytime soon. I've been playing it constantly, and I hear something new each time I listen. A killer riff I hadn't noticed (there are plenty of them!)...the way a certain lines are sung: punchy and passionate and angry, but never out of control...the hints of blues and southern rock in the fun guitar solos.

If you are looking to end your summer with some serious metal fun--listen to Cool Aunt Carrie and getcha some New Southern.






Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Random 'net finds OR Things I've been too lazy to write about

Those who run in the same shady circles as I do have probably already seen what I've got here. But I've been a bit preoccupied with a new job and the fragile friendship of Tamra and Vicky.

But I have some sweet things to share. Gather 'round, fellow rockers:

Crobot. Listen to them NOW so you can say you liked them before they took over the world:
Mike and I first heard of Crobot when they followed his band's twitter page earlier this summer. The Pennsylvania group has that same throwback rock vibe Scorpion Child is bringing. However, I think Crobot's music is a bit more accessible.

Check out the completely killer Nowhere to Hide. And then try to stop listening to it:




I'll have to plan my costume early, because three days before Halloween, Crobot will release their first full-length album, Something SupernaturalLoudwire gives us a really cool peek at the cover art.

You can stream Crobot's EP on the band's site.

Alter Bridge's mega-badass Mark Tremonti is working on a new album:
My affection for Myles Kennedy is not exactly a secret, but I am also a huge fan of Alter Bridge lead guitar player Mark Tremonti. His first "solo" album, All I Wasrocks the Winchel house on a regular basis. It's much more metal than Alter Bridge. Mark's brutal guitar work is, of course, the centerpiece. Tremonti is a good lyricist and singer as well. The songs are heavy as hell with surprisingly catchy vocals.

Mark and his band are currently working on What we're calling Tremonti II, for now. It's being produced by the man behind AB's Fortress, Michael "Elvis" Baskette. I'm sure my fan-girl love for that dude will go through the roof after September, because he also steered Slash's upcoming World on Fire.

I'm guessing Tremonti II will include the B-side Gone. Mark mentioned releasing the fan-favorite song earlier this summer. I wasn't aware of this tune until everyone started freaking out about that announcement:



Love it! Catching a Tremonti show is high on my priority list for 2015.

More turmoil for music fans who are torn between quality and convenience:
Metal Injection posted a mini documentary about sound compression not long ago. Parts of those big, epic songs we love have to be sacrificed in order to turn the tracks into tiny, cute MP3s. I consider myself a pretty savvy music fan, but I had never thought about any of this:



This eye-opening little film didn't make the waves I thought it would. (Conspiracy theories--aaand GO!)

I'm not about to try to run with a Discman.

I definitely jammed to The Spice Girls on one of these babies.
while reading 17 Magazine. I'm old.

However, The Distortion of Sound did make me think about what form I choose when I'm intending to really experience music. It sheds light how the way we listen can bring us closer to the artist--hearing them the way they intend to be heard. Find more info about this issue here.

Stay tuned! I'm totally rocking a great album I plan to review soon. You'll (hopefully) LOVE it.

Until next time,

--Mrs W

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mayfield Four Monday: Week Six

It's been a few weeks since we've had a Mayfield Four Monday. But it's not like there's been a shortage of Myles Kennedy talk.

This week, I'm highlighting the lead-off tracks of both Fallout and Second Skin.

From 1998's Fallout, this is "Shuddershell:"




Why I love this song: It does rock--not as much as "Sick and Wrong" below--but my favorite Myles moments feature heavy music, and his insane vocal talent. This song has some good vocal moments.

If you're an MK fan, you know what I'm talking about. Those times you just have to stop, and look at the speakers while tilting your head like my dog does when I ask if he wants to go for a walk.



(If you want to geek out over Mr. Kennedy's talent even more, check out this What Culture article.)

I also dig the lyrics to "Shuddershell." I love the line "so self aware/It's a burden."

 And from 2001's Second Skin, one of my favorite Mf4 songs, "Sick and Wrong:"


Why I love this song: It's rockin' and sexy and angsty. I absolutely love it. There's a wildness and a passion in this song that fits with the story of the lyrics so well.

I've shared this before, but here's the low-budget, low-shirt-wearing music video for "Sick and Wrong." You're welcome:



I dare you to tell me that didn't make your Monday better.

--Mrs. W.